For those that don’t know, YA stands for Young Adult. It’s a category for novels. It took me some time to figure out how to differentiate between YA and adult. Here’s a simple break down:
YA = Character ages 17 or below & no sex
Adult = Character ages 18 and above & sex
There are plenty of factors that split the difference, but those two narrow the playing fields for me.
My novel, Barcode: The Legend of Apollo, is not YA.
Nudity and intimacy.
Why don’t I take those things out and just make it YA? It will sell more if I do.
Well, you make a great argument, but if that’s the case, why don’t I just write a Paranormal Romance? Why not write an Erotica? Sex definitely sells. If I wrote about those things I’d be in the general public’s eye and my novels would have a great chance of selling.
The real answer, I’m not there yet. I’d rather write something I’m passionate about and place it down on paper without restricting my writing or limiting my creativity. The novel I’ve written is an unfiltered version of my vision. It’s what I’ve thought about for the past seven years. taking out scenes and rewriting it for a teen audience would kill everything special for me. There are definitely adults that read YA, I’m one of them. But those same adults should still find my work interesting.
But it’s so simple, take out the sexuality and subtract two years off their ages.
But life without sexuality isn’t real to me.
I have several post about the importance of human sexuality in novels, but recently I posted on Goodreads discussion board. The original question was: How do you feel about sex in Romance novels? My response:
I know you’re all kind of on a different topic now, but I just wanted to list my opinion from the original question.
I think some writers confuse sex with sexuality. Sex sells, and when it’s just thrown into a story writers only focus on the physical feeling of the sex. The moment leading up to it, the sexuality, is overlooked.
Even in our liberal society, people find it difficult to discus sex openly. That’s because when we talk about sex, we focus on the physical act: panting, licking, sucking, and pleasures.
When I read a romance, I’m looking to see how the characters express their sexuality. I hate filth that has no purpose but to spice up a story. Before you get to that, tell me what’s going on in the character’s mind–and not just excitement. Show me fears, what’s awkward, and how real sex doesn’t look like a porn, but you actually struggle to find the spot sometimes or standing up wasn’t as easy as you thought.
I love sex and sexuality in stories. I look for it because that’s a serious part of our adult, and let’s face it, teenage lives. But if you simply have sex for the sake of selling, spare my eyes. I probably won’t even make it that far into the book. The writing is too weak.
I think sexuality belongs in novels, even for teenagers–for them it must be presented in the proper way. My current novel doesn’t have an explicit sex scene, I’m not at the stage of my writing where I want to experiment with that. For now, I simply want to write what’s on my heart. That’s why I’m not developing a YA, Erotica, or Paranormal Romance.
Sure, writing for the most popular reading audience can be beneficial for revenue, but there are plenty of readers out there that want something different. I want to try reaching them first.
My next adventure in experimental writing for me will likely be YA, but there’s a good chance I’ll try Paranormal. For now, I want to reach out to those who are tired of reading about vampires and how they stimulate the clitoris.